It is in the best interests of both the taxpayer and our environment for us all to recycle more of our waste.
What a lot of people don’t realise is that, though district and borough councils collect our rubbish, it is the county council which pays to dispose of it. And that costs money – currently £20m a year for disposing of waste that is not being recycled.
That is why, in our 2015/16 Budget proposals, we are suggesting that, like some other local authorities elsewhere in the country, we explore the option of reducing the size of people’s general waste bin.
Because it’s a fact that a significant proportion of the rubbish going into our general waste bins – and ultimately to landfill or incineration – could be recycled.
And there’s a big disparity in the amount different areas in the county recycle their waste, ranging from 51% in Rushcliffe to just 38% in Mansfield.
A reduction of just 10% in the amount we send to landfill, however, would save the county council around £1.5m annually – £1.2m of which is landfill tax paid to the government.
That’s enough to cover the cost of providing care and support to 63 adults with learning disabilities in Nottinghamshire.
We must also bear in mind that the county council is rapidly running out of landfill capacity. Dorket Head recently closed and it has been predicted that within four to five years there will be no active landfill sites left in Nottinghamshire.
Not only that, but more than 200 new homes are being built in every district every year – adding more strain on already stretched resources.
Clearly, something has to be done.
Consultation is now taking place and you have until 16th January to tell us your views.
Take part by going online at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/budget, calling the Customer Service Centre on 0300 500 80 80, or completing a comment card available in local libraries.